How many messages have you received like this . .
“Hey friend I haven’t talked too since high school. How are you? You would totally love this new product and I want you to try it and host a party for me.”
Ugh. Ew. Block. No thanks.
I know people feel that way when they find out that I run an online business, which is why I don’t talk all that much about it, unless I really have a reason. I’ll post about it here or there if I have big news to share, but I definitely don’t “cold call” people (anymore). No one likes those messages, especially me.
Here are some key ways to run an online business and still keep your friendships alive and well.
. . .add people to your Facebook group without their permission. I know what you’re going to say, “But what about my friend who I already know LIKES the product I sell?” Nope. Not even her.
I’ll admit I made a mistake with this one when I first started. I added EVERYONE. This was bad for a few reasons. It brought my engagement down because I had people who didn’t want to be there AND it hurt those relationships and my brand by making my brand look spammy.
. . . shoot them a quick message to introduce them to what you’re doing and ASK if you can add them. Or better yet, send them the link so they can join themselves. This way you know the people who are in your group are there out of their own free will, not because you forced them in (that’s called kidnapping, folks ? ).
. . . cold call (or cold message) people. This is a tough one for a lot of people. If you are in direct sales, you likely get told all the time by your upline or corporate office to make a list of 100 people and message them all about your opportunity, but spontaneously contacting people will not put you or your company will likely put a bad taste in people’s mouths.
. . . focus on building relationships. Sure, 100 people could lead to great things to your business. Instead of randomly messaging someone who you haven’t spoken to in a decade, work to build the relationship. Treat people like people, not numbers for profit. If you do have a friend from high school that you truly believe would love your product, get to know her again. Spend time finding out more about her and rebuilding that relationship. After you have a relationship, you are in a better place to determine if your brand really is something she might be interested in. This allows for you to bring it up in a more natural way.
. . . post constantly about your business on your personal page. First off, this is a legal thing with Facebook. You can’t sell things on your personal profile. Secondly, it’s great that you sell women’s clothing, but do you think Uncle Tom cares enough tosee your posts every single day? Probably not.
. . . use Facebook pages or groups for your business posting. This allows people who WANT to be a part of what you’re doing to opt in, and people who don’t can avoid being constantly bombarded with your business posts. It’s fine to post every once in a while about your business on your profile page, just not any more than you would post about a typical 9-5 office job. Otherwise, you’re likely overwhelming your friends and family with spammy feeling content.
These do’s and don’ts will help you to run an online business professionally without making your friends and family crazy! For more tips on running a business, or just to follow our crazy antics, you can find us here!